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Why Is Sugar Loaf Mountain Called That?

Rio Cultural Secrets Private Tours in Rio de Janeiro

Why Is Sugar Loaf Mountain Called That?

Sugar Loaf is a tourist attraction that you should not miss if you are in Rio de Janeiro. It combines the natural wonder of the tropics and the vitality of Brazilian culture.

It is not the highest point of the city, but from it, you can see an almost complete panorama of beaches, buildings and tropical forests. You can climb the routes on foot, marching through its waterfalls and rustic roads, or by the cable car.

Its name has an interesting origin that is worth digging into:


When the Portuguese explorers reached the Guanabara coasts, they were impressed by the singularity of the mountain. It was a raised piece of land, without vegetation and with a very particular shape, like pieces of brown sugar! Since then, the name ‘Pão de Açúcar’ (literally translated as Sugar Loaf) has remained in the historical memory of the Carioca.



Another meaning accepted by some Brazilian etymologists and historians is that this famous mountain owes its name to the Tamoios Indians. In their language, the derivation of a pointed and isolated mountain is called ‘Pau-nh-açuquã’. Doesn’t this look like the name in Brazilian Portuguese?

Whatever its origins, Sugar Loaf represents one of the best natural and cultural heritage of Rio de Janeiro. It has been loved by the Carioca for centuries, so its value is practically incalculable.

Help this and other natural destinations by supporting ecotourism through private tours with specialized guides!


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